Illustrator & Designer living and working in Lancashire, England, Billy Almond loves art at an early age. He studied Art & Design at Blackburn College and went to obtain an Honor’s Degree in Scientific & Natural History Illustration at the Blackpool & Fylde College.
Billy Almond takes inspiration from artists as diverse as Hockney and Wyeth. He specializes in hand drawn illustration, computer based artwork, and custom art & design. Work mostly from photographs and all his paintings are highly detailed, Billy’s diversity in portfolio includes broadroom paintings to family portraits, pets, and landscapes.
A gifted artist with a keen eye on details, Billy brings the beauty of his subjects to real life!
1) Pink Leaf Designs: When did you first know you wanted to be artist and what are your inspirations?
Billy Almond: I have been surrounded by art from a very early age. My inspiration comes from my father and grandfather who were both talented artists, but they where not given the opportunity to take it further. Backed by my family I was given the opportunity to be an illustrator. I am inspired by music, travel, natural history and other artists.
2) Pink Leaf Designs: If the sky’s the limit, what type of new art would you create?
Billy Almond: I would love to work on a much larger scale. The thought of painting on something where everyone would see it, may be on the side of a large building. I would like to shock people and cause controversy, causing people to think. Recently I have seen some of Jeff Koon’s work – I like the fun aspect and the controversy that has been caused. I would like to produce new art joining design with illustration creating a new art movement.
3) PLD: You have the artist’s block today, what do you do to get unstuck?
BA: I listen to music, read, get out in nature, flick through my notebooks (I am constantly doodling in my notebook and taking photos of the world around us).
4) PLD: What LIVE celebrity would you like to send your creation for FREE and why?
BA: I have actually done this. I sent artwork to Manchester United Manager Alex Ferguson and was greatly pleased to receive a letter from him thanking me and giving me advice. I sent the artwork and asked if he could assist me in getting my work in the club shop.
I think David Attenborough would appreciate a piece of my artwork because he has spent his life dedicated to exploring animals across the planet and he would appreciate the finer points of the illustration.
5) PLD: What obstacles did you face when starting up your business? Any new challenges when creating your art/product lines?
BA: Gaining notoriety. I am quite a shy person and it is very important to get out there networking and meeting people in the industry. It is also important and a challenge to change and improve with the times –keeping one step ahead of everyone else.
6) PLD: If you want to branch out your business, which stores / venue would you like to carry your products?
BA: I would love to be associated with major brands in the industry. I would like to see my work in movies, on television and in such publications as the National Geographic, BBC, National trust and WWF. I would then like to sell my products in Galleries all over the world and online on exclusive websites.
7) PLD: What would you do differently for your products to stand up your competitions?
BA: I would learn, grow and improve with every painting. Whilst keeping my own style, I would like to adapt to the ever-changing world and keep my work fresh. I am in the process of getting a new website built in order to gain a better online presence. I am on Twitter, LinkedIn, Saatchi online and other websites. Id like to join the Association of Illustrators. I think that the internet is a fantastic place to show my work as it is free. Each month I send out and online newsletter.
8) PLD: What advise would you give to the newbies (fellow artists who want to turn their artwork to business)?
BA: Network. Don’t give up. Ask questions. Keep a notebook.
9) PLD: Which music CD are you listening now?
10) PLD: What’s in your tool box?
BA: Katie’s toothbrush, magnifying glass, lots of paints, pencil sharpener and shavings, masking fluid, ink, watered down ink, natural sponge, masking tape.
11) PLD: What else would you like the readers know about your work and future business plans?
BA: I hope to improve and expand my skills base whilst gaining notoriety for my work. I am in process of updating my website – http://www.billyalmondart.co.uk – please check it out and let me know your feedback. My plan is to make it as easy as possible for people to access and purchase my work.
I am going to continue to send my work into agencies until I get an agent and then hopefully the skies the limit. I hope to get into book illustration, advertising, freelance illustration for literature, television and movies. My dream is to see my name on a movie credits. Once I have achieved this I will just move onto the next challenge. Keep an eye on my website to find out about any forthcoming shows and events.